June 18, 2020

In this moment of national grief, anger, and protest, Urban Greens Co-op stands in solidarity with Black communities everywhere who continue to bear the weight of violence, oppression and systemic inequality. We join and support all those standing up to protect black lives, to fight for racial justice, and to dismantle those systems of violence and oppression.

Our society’s foundational and pervasive racial injustices play out in every level of our food system: The land theft, colonization, and weaponized destruction of food sovereignty that is foundational to this nation’s formation; the development of modern agricultural systems on the basis of slave labor by Black people; the continuous exploitation of those who work to grow and process food–here and around the world; the disproportionate impact of climate change and ecological devastation on communities of color–accelerated by the unsustainable practices of our industrialized food systems; the lack of equal access to healthy, culturally relevant food options by Black, Indigenous people and people of color and the chronic health conditions that result from that lack of access. All of these things are baked-in to almost every aspect of that most fundamental human activity–feeding ourselves, our families and our communities.

Building a more just food system and economy has always been at the core of Urban Greens’ mission and vision. Cooperative structures, as democratic entities, have the potential to forge more just and equitable economies. We know that mission, vision, and structure are only the first step. There is much work to be done to dismantle these systems of injustice, and we are committed to showing up for this work and bringing an anti-racist, anti-oppression lens to all levels of our cooperative. We must listen to the most marginalized and silenced voices in our community, and actively identify the needs we are not meeting. We must look within, look to each other, and look to the external allies and coalitions we can build to take this work on. We invite all of you–as owners, shoppers, staff, community members, producers of food, consumers of food to join us in this work in the weeks, months, years ahead.

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